Tithe or Else!

Late last year Ambassador College’s attorney Stanley Rader told Associated Press that “tithing is purely voluntary” in the Worldwide Church of God. (See AP news release for Friday, December 9, 1977.) Rader conveniently forgot to mention the pressure tactics AC and the WCG employ to ensure that faithful members will continue “voluntarily” tithing. One example: sending letters to AC employees urging them to authorize the church to deduct their tithes and offerings from their paychecks. Many employees, enraged at Ted’s not-too-subtle hint, ripped the letter to shreds and ignored the message.

Undaunted, Garner Ted sent a new “Policy Statement on Tithing” to “all employees” on January 3, 1978. In it he commented:

“It always has been the policy… that the Worldwide Church of God does not run general ‘tithing checks’ by means of its computer data on the general laity.”

Somehow GTA failed to remember that tithe checks have been run on whole church areas since 1968. Read “Computer Snooper” in our last issue.

“However,” Ted continues, “such a blanket guarantee is not given to employees of the College, A.I.C.F., and/or the Church, whose salaries derive directly from the tithe-paying constituency of the Church. In fact, such information may be important to departmental managers in determining merit increases from time to time, and/or bonuses for service….”

Ted concluded with the admission that he “had assumed this policy was being practiced de facto”-which is what Ambassador Report revealed in its last issue.

Some employees, interviewed by Ambassador Report, stated that they thought Ted was getting desperate because one-half of the employees at AC have stopped tithing. They said, a little fearfully perhaps, that they felt-at least hoped-Ted was bluffing, but that they still wouldn’t tithe no matter what he threatened to do.

Ambassador Report wonders when Ted is going to institute computer “prayer checks” and require all employees to report their prayer time to the data processing department. But even if Ted does this, we expect Stan Rader will assure the press that “Prayer is voluntary-just like tithing.”